Keen to check out the handwriting of legends like Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Ashutosh Mukherjee' Just drop in at the National Library, between November 15 and 22.
Six manuscripts of Chattopadhyay will be on display in an exhibition being organised to mark the birth centenary of Umaprasad Mukherjee, son of ‘Sir’ Ashutosh.
“The manuscript of Sarat Chandra’s Pather Dabi will also find a place among the exhibits,” said Ballari Banerjee, a senior National Library official, adding that they were in the process of selecting some important manuscripts of Sarat Chandra, Umaprasad Mukherjee and, of course, Ashutosh Mukherjee for the first such exhibition.
“The collection of Ashutosh Mukherjee is so rich that we have to be very careful in selecting the manuscripts. We want the viewers not to miss any important document. There are about 86,000 books and journals donated to the National Library by the family of Ashutosh Mukherjee. It is not possible to display all the books due to lack of space, but we are striving to select the best for the exhibition,” she added.
“My uncle (Umaprasad) had written to then Union minister Abul Kalam Azad in 1948, expressing his desire to donate the books and journals to the then Imperial Library. The Union government had reacted most positively. And we are still donating books to the library,” said Justice (retired) Chittotosh Mukherjee. “He was also a very keen photographer who had a rare collection on the Himalayas. Most of them will be displayed in the exhibition,” Justice Mukherjee added.
Former Union minister for education Pratap Chandra Chunder will inaugurate the exhibition at the library on November 15. Former National Library director Rabindra Kumar Dasgupta is also expected to be present.
The exhibition had earlier been slated for October, but had to be pushed back for the Pujas.